Examining Infectiousness Of TB Patients Living With HIV

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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"The Infectiousness of Tuberculosis Patients Coinfected With HIV," PLoS Medicine: Roderick Escombe of Imperial College London and colleagues conducted the study to examine infectiousness and airborne transmission of TB by exposing guinea pigs to air from the HIV/TB ward of a hospital in Peru. Over the 505-day study period, there were 118 ward admissions of 97 HIV-positive people with pulmonary TB. The researchers conducted monthly tuberculin skin tests, organ cultures and autopsies to detect TB among the guinea pigs.

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They also used DNA fingerprinting of human and animal TB strains to determine the sources of transmission. According to the study, 8.5% of the 118 ward admissions caused 98% of the 125 secondary animal TB cases. In addition, 90% of TB transmissions occurred from inadequately treated multi-drug resistant TB. The study's findings emphasize the importance of prompt TB drug susceptibility testing to ensure effective treatment and reduce the incidence of MDR-TB, the authors write (Escombe et al., PLoS Medicine, 9/16).

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